When it comes to creating a successful estate plan, it is imperative that the plan includes inter-related components that go beyond basic estate planning. Just as your daily life can rarely be divided into need little separate goals and objectives, neither can your estate plan. Retirement planning, for example, should be included in your overall estate plan. Although you may have a stand-alone retirement plan, the major components of that plan should be inter-woven into your estate plan to ensure that the two plans work in harmony with each other both now and during your “Golden Years.” To help you with your retirement planning, the Beverly elder law attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices offer some estate planning tips for your retirement years.
- Learn everything you can about financial planning. If you are like the average person, there is a lot you probably don’t know about investing and financial planning. Take some time before you create your retirement plan to learn everything you can about basic investment concepts and retirement planning strategies.
- Take advantage of employer-sponsored options. Although the days of fully funded pensions are all but gone, most medium to large employers (and even some small ones) offer some type of retirement plans for employees. Matching employer contributions can go a long way toward your retirement nest egg.
- Start an IRA. An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is like establishing your own private pension fund. An IRA can also offer significant tax advantages as well.
- Make use of automatic deductions. The expression “pay yourself first” applies here. If you set up deductions to come out of your paycheck before you ever see the money, you won’t even realize it is gone and will learn to count on only your after-savings income.
- Create obstacles to get to your savings. The more hoops you have to jump through to get money out that is meant for retirement, the less likely you are to disturb it. Stash retirement savings in accounts that require paperwork to withdraw the funds and decline the offer of a debit card.
- Diversify your assets. Another popular saying — “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is popular for a reason. While long-term investment strategies are generally a good idea when it comes to retirement planning, you should also have some cash on hand and never put all your investments into one fund or one account. No matter how safe a fund/account may appear, nothing is completely recession proof nor is there ever a guarantee of quality management.
- Check the fees you are paying. New investors frequently get hit with large fees because they don’t know what is customary in the industry. Those fees can add up over the years. Take the time to first figure out the fees you are paying and, second, to find out if they are in line with the norm for the type of investment or service.
- Delay Social Security benefits. The difference in the amount of your monthly Social Security retirement benefit can be significant if you are able to delay your retirement just a couple of years.
- Plan for the cost of long-term care. The high cost of long-term care can derail your retirement plan is you did not plan for those costs. By including Medicaid planning in your overall estate plan, you can protect your hard-earned assets and ensure that you are eligible for Medicaid if you need it down the road.
- Incorporate your retirement plan into your estate plan. This should be done early on to ensure that the two plans are compatible and that decisions made in one plan do not conflict with objectives in the other plan.
Contact Beverly Elder Law Attorneys
For more information, please download out FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning tips for your retirement years, contact the experienced Beverly elder law attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices by calling (603) 894-4141 or (978) 969-0331 to schedule an appointment.